Wayfarer Column- Poet had understanding of life few could match

We are now at that time of year when most Scots celebrate the birth of Robert Burns and what place better for this than Ayrshire where Burns was born.

Now, there was a teller of tales even though his tales were in verse it tended to add to the quality of the story. However when considering Robert Burns and his propensity to tell tales of all aspects of life but mainly those attuned to the attractiveness of women, we wonder what he would have made of the Maid of Curragh who is said to lie under the stone in Curragh field having been put there to stop her nagging. I hope the maid can swim as I notice a lot of water has gathered around her stone of late. There is also the problem of Sir John Cathcart of Lendalfoot who married rich heiresses and then pushed them into the sea at Games Loup. That is of course until he met his eighth wife, who was a lady of some mettle, who got the better of him at Games Loup and reversed the process. Money never seemed to come into the bard’s reckoning as he would much prefer the company of an attractive woman and made that very plain. Robert Burns insight into the ways of man was well expressed in such poems as ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’ and ‘The Cotter’s Saturday Night’. But the one with what I think is the richest tale to tell is that of ‘Tam O’Shanter’ which is a gathering of tales one could come across on the trip Tam would make on his way home from a night supping ale in the Market Inn in Ayr. Burns has gathered them all together into one tale full of excitement with the propensity to bring some horror into the minds of his listeners. It is a wonderful poem for all those skilled enough to bring the poem to life and enthrall his listeners.

But of course everyone has their favourites and although just a small farmer’s son, Robert Burns had an understanding of life few could match.

However life is full of people who can bring interest into our everyday lives just as long as we are able to appreciate it and pass it on. Consider James Maclean who was walking along a street in September 1950 when he looked up in time to see a nine year old boy falling some forty feet from a building.

Maclean instinctively reached out and caught the boy in his arms no doubt much to the relief of the youngster’s parents.

There are many tales to keep us interested. See you next week.